Tourism returns to Porto and the North
Portugal’s second city Porto and the north of the country are seeing a gradual return of tourism.
The take-up rate at tourism developments and hotels currently stands at around 50%, well above the 15% seen last year during the same period.
Luís Pedro Martins, president of Turismo do Porto e Norte, the government tourism agency that covers the north region of Portugal says the bounce-back is because of the return of international tourists, with particular emphasis on European markets such as France and Spain.
He says that even though the numbers are a far cry from those bumper figures seen in 2019 – a record year — “we are in a phase of recovery in terms of travel confidence and Porto and the north of Portugal clearly occupy a strong position when it comes to International tourism preferences for Portugal as a destination.”
The Douro, Minho and Trás-os-Montes already have take-up rates in excess of 80% (most Portuguese holidayed at home this year) and looking at on-line last-minute bookings, it seems that the “numbers recorded (this time last year) in 2020 will again be confirmed, with a strong presence from the internal market, plus the Portuguese émigrés who are back in Portugal for their holidays, the latter not seen in 2020.”
Contributing towards these results, Turismo do Porto e Norte also emphasises the efforts from its marketing campaigns and the resilience of local companies as well as charm offensives and write-ups and programmes from media outlets and journalists from Portugal’s main tourist markets.
When the campaign ‘Visit Porto and the North’ was launched, there was an immediate interest from 5.5 million people and over 1,000 requests for more information about the destination on live chat.
Episodes from the Porto & North Travel Series have also made a strong contribution to raising the destination’s profile, promoting a high niche offer built around various themes such as luxury and lifestyle, gastronomy and wines, nature and tourism, heritage and religion.